[QUOTE=Surya Deva;56307]Haha, it almost sounds like I have had some experience with every cult. I am a true seeker in every sense of that word. I have looked at everything to satisfy my soul’s thrist - and alas my soul is even more thirsty.
What else have I been involved in? I am a member of the Theosophical lodge. I have also given talks there.
This is my first Western cult. The Theosophical lodge are harmless today though, and to be honest a bit boring. They are too stuck in their Victorian ways, and they meet infrequently at the local lodge. The sessions are usually divided into a study group and then some random lecture on a new-age topic. In the past, I understand they have been involved in a lot of fradulent activity and I strongly question the origins of the Secret Doctrine and the Mahatma letters, which claim have been channeled to them by the adepts and ascended masters in India and Tibet. I do indeed like reading their literature, such as the Key to Theosophy - but they need a complete overhaul if they want to survive into the 21st century.
I have contact with other Western cults through friends: The Freemasons, The Golden Dawn, OTO - we occasionally meet in the pub and have dinner together. I also attended about a year of Gnostic classes. In general I find them harmless, and very knowlegable - but alas very new-age. Although they themselves oppose new-age stuff and resent the label. I know that a lot of the stuff they teach, which they claim is part of an indigenious Western tradition, is just a rehash of the Eastern tradition. A note to Western new agers: stop pretending you have an indigenious Yoga tradition. You do not. The closest thing you have to Yoga is Neo-platonism and Gnosticism, but they are definitely not as developed as Yoga and were prematurely ended by the Roman Empire. This is why you follow Yoga. Oh, and Kabbalh is not an authentic tradition, it is new-age interpretation of the bible.
What else have I been involved in? Dabbled in the new age attending spiritual churches weekly for a few months for open circle mediumship and healling. Had a medium mentor for a month. Attended some psychic development classes and learned crystal healing, dousing and healing, fragments of reikei, aura gazing, astral projection, Indigo children and other such superficial rubbish. This is a cult in itself because these people are highly needy, deluded and do not practice real spirituality. They delude themselves into thinking they have become enlightened - but they are usually just morons.
Attended 1 class of the Hare Krishnas and visited their IKSON temple in India. Just wow. These are some of the most fundamentalist people I have ever met, and stupid. Stay away for your sanity.
I have gone to Church a few times, but never a Mosque. I have read both the holy bible and the Quran. The Quran was leant to me by a Muslim fundamentalist student at high school in order to convert me. Obviously it did not work. These scriptures to me are at the bottom of the barrel of every scripture I have read and every new-age book I have read. The only reason people continue to read them is because they do it out of a sense of loyalty and respect or faith. Otherwise, they are just remenants of a primitive desert culture - and teach you NOTHING!
I have also read the Sikh bible the Guru Granth Sahib. It is a lot more positive and uplifting - but boy is it repetitive. I get the message already, “God is great, god is love, god is beyond description - god god god god god” It is basically a giant book of odes to god.
I am less versed in Buddhist scriptures. I have the Dhammapada lying around somewhere. I gave it a cursory glance, but was not too impressed. I have also read the Tao-te-ching, nice, but not too impressive. Buddhist and Taoic scriptures tend to be quite light in content, but still spiritually uplifting to read. They are no matches for Hindu scriptures though which are often rational and scientific discourses and teach pure spirituality.
Finally, in terms of “secular Yoga” I did the Bihar School of Yoga Satyananda Yoga for a few months. I found it dry, but very serious and no BS stuff. I am considering BSY seriously for my future path. They are very serious about their Yoga and their books, “Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas”, “Yoga Nidra”, “Sure ways to self-realization” are some of the best and most informative I have found ever. They are like a benchmark in Yoga.[/QUOTE]
Some of the most profound teachings are in the Tao te Ching. As a matter of fact, a lot of times I feel that Taoism and Sanatana Dharma share a common ancestry. Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu are the most profound sages you can study…and the entire philosophy of Taoism is very very similar to Vedanta (especially Advaita Vedanta). They are mystical in nature like the Upanishads and just reading them will awaken prajna in many a seeker.